Astros re-sign C Ausmus to two-year contract

Updated: November 19, 2003, 3:46 PM ET

HOUSTON - The Houston Astros, who have a few of the top young pitchers in the National League, ensured they again will have a veteran with which to work by re-signing catcher Brad Ausmus to a two-year contract Wednesday.

Financial terms were not released. Ausmus made $5.5 million in 2003.

A two-time Gold Glove winner, Ausmus finished second in the major leagues at his position with a .997 fielding percentage last season. He also threw out 37 of 105 attempted base stealers and had just three passed balls in 143 games.

Ausmus hit .229 with four home runs and 47 RBIs, but he caught at least 100 games for the 10th straight season.

The 34-year-old Ausmus has a .256 lifetime batting average with 63 home runs and 430 RBIs. He is in his second stint with the Astros after being acquired from the Detroit Tigers in a six-player trade in December 2000.

Ausmus helps a pitching staff that includes Roy Oswalt, Wade Miller, Carlos Hernandez and Jeriome Robertson - all of whom are 27 or younger.

Houston (87-75) was fifth in the National League last season with a 3.87 ERA and finished one game behind the first-place Chicago Cubs in the Central Division.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index

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